Thousands of Islington residents have been left without water this week, after freezing conditions caused at least 15 major water pipes, the responsibility of Thames Water, to burst.
Parts of Angel, Finsbury Park, Tollington and Upper Holloway have been affected, with many buildings having no water for several days.
Most households have now had their water supply restored through ongoing repair work from Thames Water, however some Islington residents are still without water.
Thames Water – no comment
Thames Water declined to comment on the number of Islington homes affected, but across London 20,000 households suffered a loss of water this week.
Residents of Talbot House, in Tollington, had to carry water up to the 18th floor, as they were without water or a working elevator over the weekend.
Louisa Acciari, 29 and Sabah Boufkhed, 31, live together on the 17th floor and expressed concern over their elderly and disabled neighbours.
“The water was out for 48 hours. I took 6 litres of water up the stairs, and it took me 10 minutes. We are relatively fit, but there is an old lady on the 15th floor, and I don’t know how she did it,” Louisa said.
Not enough done
Sabah said: “it is a council building with mostly immigrants and low-income persons. I understand that on the top floor there is a person with a wheelchair – how did she manage?”
In addition, both women felt the council had not done enough to help. “They provided no information whatsoever. We had no idea what was going on,” Louisa said.
“We were calling the council all day and they kept on saying that it was going to be back on in a couple of hours, and they told us that it was a none issue because it had already been reported. At home we were not able to flush toilets or wash. In the end we just had to stay away” she added.
Steven Davies, 28, who lives on the 18th floor of Talbot House, was forced to go to friends’ houses in order to shower. He said that Thames Water “should have been organised and prepared for this type emergency, especially when it’s snowy and cold,” but acknowledged that they “did try and come and fix the pipeline”.
No warning given
Verity Bowman, 23, a student who lives in Finsbury Park, said that the only water that would come out of the taps was boiling hot. She said: “I was heartbroken, and really annoyed at Thames Water. We were given no warning, and were not able to prepare for the fact that we wouldn’t be able to have a shower.”
Steve Robertson, the CEO of Thames Water, said: “We are pleased to have made good progress with restoring supplies today, but very sorry that some of our customers are still without water or have low pressure, in some cases after several days.
“We are in no doubt about how distressing and inconvenient this is for everyone affected. We have been working flat out around the clock to get things back to normal. There are 131 repair gangs and 144 specialist network technicians are still working on our network, resolving the remaining problems and moving water around to where it is needed.”
Concern from council
A spokesperson for Islington Council said: “Thames Water had a major issue with water supplies across London at the weekend.
“We are concerned Thames Water didn’t offer more support to vulnerable customers, including in Talbot House. We will continue to review how we can support our tenants when there is a loss of water supply.”